MINISTER of State Jan O’Sullivan has pledged that every cent spent on Limerick Regeneration on her watch will benefit those who want to remain in the communities more than those who have opted to move out.
And the Limerick TD stressed she, rather than Environment Minister Phil Hogan, was responsible for the regeneration budget after her senior colleague said there had been little return for the millions spent to date.
Minister Phil Hogan described as a “scandal” the fact that €116 million has been spent without a single new home being built in Southill, Moyross, St Mary’s Park or Ballinacurra Weston.
Minister O’Sullivan, who now has political responsibility for Regeneration following her appointment as minister of state for housing, said: “While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a scandal - has been extremely disappointing for residents after so much money being spent.”
But Deputy O’Sullivan said Minister Hogan’s comments should not be interpreted as meaning he is hostile to the project or wants its budget cut.
“I have a good working relationship with Phil Hogan and he wants to see the situation improve. But I want to make quite clear that regeneration is under my remit. I have a clear understanding of the issues and good relationships with the local authorities and more importantly with the communities. I will be accompanying Phil Hogan when he visits Limerick on Friday and one thing that we agree on is that there has been too much relocation and not enough regeneration,” she said.